With many already pointing fingers at his selection, the poor show against England only made matters worse for Azam.

Misbah-ul-Haq and Azam Khan
Misbah-ul-Haq and Azam Khan. (Photo Source: Getty Images)

Ever since his selection in the national team, Pakistan cricketer Azam Khan has been in the spotlight. Son of former cricketer Moin Khan, Azam has often been termed a product of nepotism despite having shown his abilities in the Pakistan Super League.

However, acknowledging those to an extent, he was named in Pakistan’s squad for the England and West Indies series.  He made his T20I debut against England recently but did not have much business in the series as he ended up with scores of 5 and 1 in two games.

With many already pointing fingers at his selection, the poor show against England only made matters worse as Azam found himself in the line of fire of some experts and fans. In the middle of it all, however, Pakistan’s head coach Misbah-ul-Haq has backed the youngster stating that his talent cannot be judged at the international level by only a couple of innings.

When he plays more, things will become clearer: Misbah-ul-Haq

“Azam only really had one innings, so it’s very early to say anything about him. When he plays more, things will become clearer. Whichever player bats at that position needs to score quick runs. When you play at number six your average might not be very high, so you can’t judge on one game,” Misbah told ESPNcricinfo.

Opening up on the middle-order issues of the team, he said: “We are close to finding out our final combination. We still have the same problems, that our middle order isn’t performing the way our top order is. We know 8-9 players of our playing XI as well as their replacements.

We have to view every game as important and improve our performance. England were a top team in difficult conditions, but we have to look at a roadmap for improvement. Of course, losses shatter your confidence, and we just have to try and build it back.”

“But it’s true, we didn’t bowl as well in England as we did in South Africa or at home. There have been some huge overs we’ve allowed which has had an impact on results. The results before the England series were much improved, we won 3 series in a row. [Mohammad] Hafeez has not been doing as well as he did last year, and other middle-order players are struggling,” Misbah added.

“Overall, the team is better but if these two aspects of our game improve, then we’d be in a much better position. The importance of three-dimensional players and the lower middle order is very important. Players like Hasan Ali and Shadab (Khan) and their performances are crucial, but the link with the middle order needs to be stronger,” he concluded.


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